I never really understood the gift God gave me called Fertility.
The pain of being consumed with smoking crack, me and my unborn child were under attack
I was having crack problems, nightmares of this baby not having a home
My baby surrounded by drugs and thugs, my baby wouldn’t get no hugs
Consumed with the pain of smoking crack
Not wanting to have an abortion, but knowing I was incapable of raising a child. Thought of nobody having my back.
How could I protect it, nurture it, like a mother was supposed to do?
Consumed by the pain of smoking crack
I didn’t know what to do, drained and lonely with no one to talk to.
A 2017 pilot study conducted in 17 Indiana hospitals tested 16% of umbilical cords for substance use after birth. The study found that 39% of the cords tested were positive for substance exposure, and 12% of those infants had neonatal abstinence syndrome. ISDH believes these results are an underrepresentation of the true prevalence (2017 Annual Report, 2018). Substance abuse during pregnancy is too common in Indiana, and mothers have few supports due to the stigmas they face as addicts. It is important that we build a community with resources and information to meet the needs of mothers that struggle with addictions, and follow-up treatment is necessary to prevent infant mortality.
During my struggles with addiction, Child Protective Services (CPS) became involved, but the problems surrounding the reasons for my addiction were never solved. I looked good on the surface. I was from a good home, graduated from a catholic high school and had the support of my mother. CPS left me alone, with no follow-up and no commitment from me to get clean. I slipped through the cracks; it seemed as if nobody paid attention to me. My daughter was raised by my sister; she has a God given purpose that crack did not allow me to see.
My heart endured, and I am blessed that I was not totally consumed by my addiction. I am restored! I am on a mission to strengthen my community, and be the voice of those consumed by addiction. Now that I am free, I want to give back.
I understand the need to have resources in the community, so people do not slip through the cracks, like me. My Grassroots Maternal and Child Health Leader sisters are putting me back on track. I seek the restoration of my community, by doing my part to end infant mortality.
Join me in my efforts to end infant mortality, by teaching safe sleep and building stronger communities. Let’s gather all the community services and work together. We cannot allow another mother to be consumed by her addiction. We cannot leave these women lonely, with no one to talk with. We must speak for them, and be their voice when their addiction will not give them a choice.
2017 Annual Report, Indiana’s Efforts to Address Infant Mortality. (2018). https://www.in.gov/laboroflove/files/2017-ipqic-annual-report.pdf